Feb 2018

Cari Fratelli e Sorelle di Cellini,

This is my 12th President’s message. I enjoy writing to you in general and keeping you abreast of what exciting things are happening at Cellini.

Already in January on Long Island we have been through a blizzard, exceptionally low temperatures and well, winter weather.

Hope you have all stayed warm as this is one of our four seasons. Let’s see what February brings. However, we do know it brings Valentine’s Day on February 14. This eponymous holiday honors St. Valentine of Terni an Italian doctor who later became a priest. There is not much definitely known about him although legend has it he married and aided Christians (a crime back then) and was imprisoned and martyred for doing so in 3rd Century Rome by Claudius after trying to convert him. Through the centuries Valentine was ascribed to lovers, romance, engaged couples, happy marriages, devotion and love in general. Other patronages (as saints can have many) are as assorted as beekeeping, epilepsy, the plague, fainting and traveling. His life’s work through God was to teach people how to recognize and experience true love. Whatever the story I wish you all Happy Valentine’s Day for love of your lover, your family and your friends.

Time to mention March 23rd again – 50th Anniversary Scholarship Dinner Dance. Are you ready to go? If you have other obligations, are you supporting the lodge with a Journal ad? Remember this is a Scholarship Dinner Dance whereby Cellini celebrates providing support to its community through giving to the hard-working students that are our future – and your support is much appreciated. I want to also reach out to the 30 or so new members initiated since the last dinner dance (is that you!) – this is a perfect time to meet the members in a formal celebratory setting. Whether you are alone, a couple or a group I will make sure you feel part of the Cellini family.

The slate was presented during the January general meeting and will be finalized based on procedures and a vote during this February general meeting. I want to thank the Nominating Committee headed by IPP Alfonso, with Luigi Squillante, Gina Ferrara, Grace Ferrara and Jerry Pecora – grazie. It’s not a simple task but a complex algorithm to do what they think and what we in majority will agree upon is best for the Lodge. What follows is our installation at the March 5 general meeting. I am asking that you come a little earlier as I will probably start the meeting at 7:15 pm and have a shortened meeting so we can start the ritual about 8:15 pm. For those who have not been to an installation, it is a way to see how the Order works, and also eat and mingle with members and filial lodge visitors.

Since I am writing this on January 18, I’m unable to tell you about the Annual Pasta Night & Charity Show (benefitting St. Jude’s and Cancer Research) as it is on the 19th, however I will discuss in my subsequent message. I am sure Judy (Garland impersonator) will do great.

A few days ago, I received the $100 raffle tickets from the Grand Lodge at the District II President’s meeting (Nassau County lodges are District II). There are 35 raffle tickets – help Cellini sell them all. You can buy full tickets or groups can buy partial ones; not limited to members so you can sell to family and friends: many prizes with top one being $20,000. Cellini has sold the winning ticket the last 2 years in a row. I also want to update the $30 calendars – we ended up selling 55 (not 54) which is 5 more than we were allotted. Great work and hopefully if you purchased, you are already winning on this lottery based Grand Lodge giving incentive.

To end, I often wondered why, since we give hearts on Valentine’s Day, that St. Valentine isn’t known for fixing broken hearts or people having heart disease. So, I researched and found that St. John of God (16th Century) is the patron Saint of heart patients (also, the sick, hospitals, nurses, firefighters, printers and booksellers). Therefore, to all those with heart disease, whether Catholic or not I will say a prayer for you – heart disease being the number 1 affliction for both men and women. And to nurses (including my RN wife, 1st Lady Mary Ellen) that take care the sick: special prayers. Lastly, for the quick mending of the broken-hearted. Buon San Valentino!

Quando l’amico chiede, non v’è domani. – When a friend asks, there is no tomorrow.

God Bless you and your family, God Bless our ancestors and heritage and God Bless America!

Con affetto,

Mark A. Ventimiglia
Cellini Lodge # 2206
Order Sons of Italy in America

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